Cloud Iridescence Transience

The Wednesday Weekly Photo Challenge gave a prompt of Transient and I immediately remembered the wonderful sight we had seen in Romsey, Hampshire, last December. I shared one of the photos on 1st January, but this gives me a chance to show the rest. Attention was drawn to it by then 5-year-old J, to whom I am eternally grateful, and I lost no time in deploying my phone camera. This was as well, for the sight was transient indeed. Here one minute and gone the next.

The cloud iridescence or irisation phenomenon is described as ‘rarely seen and seldom photographed’ by some sources, and a ‘fairly common phenomenon’ by others. I must admit that in my 76 years it is the first time I have noted it. Apparently this rainbow effect is caused by an accumulation of frozen water particles of uniform size gathered together in an optically thin cloud.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Challenge, Nature, Photography, UK, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Overshare from an Edit

I thought I’d overshare this by reblogging it at the meerkat colony.

Leslie Hyla Winton Noble

In a novel I recently edited set in 1930s, the main character asks another to stay in his home with a young girl while he is out, and is asked what they should do:

‘… “I don’t know,” he said sardonically. “She’s a girl. Overshare your feelings.” …’

Me, as editor: It is a good line, indeed. However, the word apparently dates from internet and social media times, so doesn’t quite fit the period.

Author: I did check the origin of the word (I was curious, myself), and it seems to have popular roots in the early 1800’s, as well as a strong reassurance in the online age.

I did more research without running to earth the earlier roots, but I did find:

1. Webster’s Dictionary Chooses “Overshare” as the 2008 Word of the Year.

     2. Described as “beautifully British”, the “subtle yet devastating” put-down “overshare” was today…

View original post 110 more words

Posted in Africa | 10 Comments

Another independent bookshop comes to The End —

— and the cups will run dry.

In 2009, a young girl named Kerry returned to Amanzimtoti from Cape Town, where she had first been employed, filled with experiences of boutique bookshops found in that area and determined to start one of her own. With the help of her parents and her own entrepreneurial skills the dream was realised as ‘The Book Boutique’, which became a thriving business combining excellent selections of books with fine coffee and cakes.

Book launches and Saturday readings of books to children became regular features.  At one of the former, some five years ago, I met ‘Spud’ author John van de Ruit. He was fresh from the success of the movie made from the first book, and with great tales to tell about interactions with John Cleese. I bought his latest Spud book ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’, which he autographed for me.

Anyway, this month came the shock announcement that on 24th July The Book Boutique will close down. Kerry is bitterly disappointed at needing to move on, but as she says, ‘… also a business decision in terms of the financial feasibility of an independently owned bookstore in the current economic and technology driven environment.’ (By the same token, it is becoming increasingly difficult for authors such as myself, published by small ‘indies’, to find outlets. The chains are generally serviced by agents who are notoriously inaccessible.)

It is sad indeed that, as with the era of the family grocer, baker, butcher and clothing stores, one finds that the age of neighbourhood bookshops is also gone, replaced by impersonal warehouses run by chains in shopping malls. I remain unconvinced that the economies of scale widely accepted as reasons for this revolution are truly justified on macroeconomic and cultural analyses. So many inefficiencies come about in time and travel and expenses involved in the construction and running of the mall monstrosities, and the personal touch is all but lost. Not to mention their ecological impact.

The charm of bookshops like this one was again brought home to us when we recently attended another book launch, when I took the pictures and about which another post is forthcoming.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Books, Colonialist, Writing | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

Backing up your Blog Content


I just read some great advice from Hugh W Roberts blog, Its something that I’d never thought of – backing up your blog content – especially if you have a lot of posts, images, comments etc. Who wants to lose that?

So here are some easy steps that will prevent that and ensure you have a back up in place.

Backing up your blog content:

1. Go to the WP Admin (your dashboard)

2. Click ‘Tools’ and a side window will open

3. Click ‘Export’ – ‘Choose what to export’ -click ‘All content’

4. Click ‘Download export file’

5. All content will be downloaded – you will receive a message from WordPress, saying that they will email you a link to the file

6. Go to your email box – look for the email

7. Click on the link in the email and the backup will be downloaded to…

View original post 33 more words

Posted in Africa | 13 Comments

The Last Squawk






Thread of sound, whistle prints on mind,

Gnaws like word from such ring can fall;

Touch apart, broken one may find

Wheeling echo of that sad call.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Colonialist, Poems, Rhyme, Wordle | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

When Fathers’ Day Did Gang Agley


But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley, …

Rabbie Burns, written 1785

Younger Daughter had things all planned for Sunday. She was going to take us to the Natal Midlands where we would view the animals at Midmar Dam, and then go on for a sumptuous lunch at Fern Hill. An early start would be indicated, so we supped well before normal time and went down to prepare for bed.

Then came a telephone call from Sister-in-Law, on Durban’s Berea. She had fallen off the un-railed stairs (again!) while leaning forward to pick something up from a lower step, and thought she had broken her hip. Much Better Half and I dashed for the car and made the trip in record time. Then we waited for the ambulance. And waited. Then we waited some more.

After about two hours, two came. They were both needed, as it happened. Getting the patient down the steep steps to driveway level took all the man- (and woman-) power to be found in both. We then did a lot more waiting at the hospital for X-rays to be taken, and a good deal more to be given a verdict.

Finally, well after midnight, we learnt that she had a fractured pelvis, and was to be admitted.  She was. We scrammed.

After only getting to bed in the wee hours of the morning, neither of us were inclined to rise early, so the planned trip went by default. However, we had a good breakfast, the grandkids gave me the above cards, and Younger Daughter presented me with a nifty add-on for a phone camera,

which does a good job of magnifying rather better than the digital zoom can achieve, as these shots from our patio show.

With maximum digital zoom


Using new clip-on lens

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Personal Journal, Photography | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Foe cuss, but not an enemy curse.

The earliest invention
For Focus of attention,
But here you’ll find the joke is
It’s always out of focus!

When on midwinter scene
The focus may have been,
You don’t expect to find
A beach, and yachts all lined;
The kids and granddad, though,
Did boogie-boarding go
As focus on a way
To spend the winter day —
(Though focus heard in passing chat,
‘Dem focus crazy to do dat!’)

We are still a week or so off midwinter, and the sea certainly had a bit of a chill to it, but riding waves does warm one up. Not as much as the blaze the pyromaniac ladies of the house lit a bit later as a handy way of reducing the garden refuse!

We need to make full use of that delightful stretch of beach while we can. Developers are due to move in any minute to focus on major construction there, which will naturally destroy its free-and-easy dog-roaming atmosphere. Our watersport clubs seen at the edge of the sand will vanish, to be replaced by monstrosities like the one behind them.  Competitions like the regatta for Hobies and Lasers seen in preparation will also be threatened.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Beach, Challenge, Personal Journal, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, sailing, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , | 20 Comments